Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Immigrants forced to margins of Italian society

Once a poor country that sent millions of its citizens abroad to find work, Italy now imports workers. The country has an aging population and low birth rate, and it depends on immigrant labor to maintain its economy and welfare benefits.

Italy now has an estimated 4 million to 5 million immigrants — about 7 percent of the population.
Surveys show that among Europeans, Italians are the most suspicious about immigrants.

A majority believes immigrants have too many rights and that many of them should be deported, and that immigration has brought only crime.

Talk of an immigrant "invasion" is widespread.

See also a troubling report, the first part in this series: "German minorities still fight to be seen, heard."